Mac users could also be susceptible to WannaCry style attacks

Yampolskiy said it was a common mistake to assume that Apple users were immune to this kind of attack.

Cyber security expert Aleksandr Yampolskiy warned on Monday that Apple users are vulnerable to cyber attacks from WannaCry ransomware, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers through a security flaw in outdated versions of Windows last week. The current attack, he explained, merely happened to be targeted at Windows computers.

Friday’s attack affected users in 150 countries across the world. Computers with outdated Windows operating systems in hospitals, factories, schools and shops were infected and taken over by cyber criminals. After encrypting user files, the malicious software displayed a message forcing the user to pay a ransom to regain access to personal data.

Yampolskiy said it was a common mistake to assume that Apple users were immune to this kind of attack. He explained: “It happens that this attack is targeting the Windows computers… But Apple is absolutely vulnerable to similar types of attacks.”

Relying on the cloud, he went on to say, was no safer because you still rely on the security measures of a third party.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, ordered Homeland Security to hold an emergency meeting on Friday night to assess the seriousness of the threat.

How Does it Work?

The WannaCry ransomware encrypts the majority of user files on a computer with nearly unbreakable code. A message then appears on the screen telling the user to pay a ransom of at least $300 in the online cryptocurrency Bitcoin. At this stage, two countdown timers appear on the screen which inform the user how much time is left before the ransom is doubled and how long before the encrypted documents are deleted from the computer.

Where did WannaCry originate?

Nobody knows at this stage. The current variant is actually the second version of this advanced malware. The initial version appeared a couple of months ago and was spread through phishing emails, which asked the user to click on an attachment. Once the files are opened, the malware is installed, rendering each system vulnerable to attack.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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